New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and the Who Dat Nation achieved a small victory on Friday when U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan said she was on his side. Unfortunately, that victory may be short-lived because the judge also stated that she was not sure it was legally in her power to rule in the LB's favor and needs some time to make a decision on a ruling.
While this is something of a mixed blessing/let down for fans of the Saints team, reportedly, the man himself was hardly disappointed. The Veteran football player, who is currently on suspension for the entire season because of his alleged participation in the Bountygate scandal, has a law suit pending against National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell, and had requested a restraining order to allow him to return to the team until the action is settled.
Vilma isn't just banned from play, he can't even visit the team facility. If something doesn't break with his case soon, he won't be able to suit up for the Saints's opening game on September 9 against the Washington Redskins.
Earlier in the week news outlets reported that an agreement had been reached to reduce Vilma's suspension to only 8 games, provided that Vilma drop his defamation suit against Goodell, but the NFL immediately disputed that claim.
By the evening news hour on Friday, WDSU reported that Judge Berrigan may wait until as long as August 30, before making a decision about her ruling.
Though the judge urged both sides to come to a settlement on their own, if it turns out there is legal precedent for Judge Berrigan to rule in Vilma's favor, his fellow and former teammates who were also suspended may see a change in their status as well. This would be good news for football fans, especially those who feel the Saints were unfairly singled out in the Bounty investigation.